Quetta registers their first victory by 22 runs over Sultans to break the curse of chasing teams winning
The rookie, Usman Khan and Qais Ahmed star for Quetta Gladiators to seal their first victory of the season over Multan Sultans by 22 runs at National Stadium Karachi on Wednesday, Quetta also breaks the chasing streak that has been followed throughout the season.
Chasing an average target of 177 on the wicket of National Stadium, Sultans were off to a steady start as the skipper, Mohammad Rizwan alongside his opening partner James Vince combined a 63 runs stand and it appeared an easy victory to prove the unsuccessful defences throughout the season.
However, Qais Ahmed struck his first wicket to remove James Vince in a catch behind by Sarfaraz Ahmed before scoring 24 off 21 balls.
Sultan’s previous captain, Shan Masood departed early after being trapped in an lbw by Qais Ahmed. The Afghan spinner then removed the left-hander, Rilee Rossouw to shift the momentum towards Gladiators.
Sohaib Maqsood was next on the list, picked up by Mohammad Nawaz and Rizwan kept running out of partnerships.
Khushdil Shah was looking good with his 19 off 12 balls but he also could not stand long and was dismissed by the right-hand pacer, Mohammad Hasnain, caught by Saim Ayub.
Gladiators tightened their grip on the match when Carlos Brathwaite went back to the pavilion after facing just three balls, Ben Cutting caught him off the bowling of Mohammad Hasnain.
As the pressure started to build, Mohammad Rizwan was the only hope and he was in a ‘Do or Die’ situation so he decided to take on Zahid Mahmood but was caught by Hasnain before scoring 66 off 50 balls.
Imran Tahir 14 (8) got run out while Shahnawaz Dhani was caught decently by Faf Du Plessis off the bowling of Dale Steyn as Quetta marked their first and important victory of the season.
Qais Ahmed took three wickets while Mohammad Hasnain and Shahnawaz Dhani picked up two wickets each.
Earlier today, Quetta Gladiators lost the toss and was asked to bat first. The debutant, Usman Khan played a thrilling knock to take part in their total of 176 in 20 overs.
Usman Khan gave a solid start along with his opening partner, Saim Ayub. The youngsters proved their worth after making a 69 runs stand at the top order.
Veteran spinner, Imran Tahir finally broke the partnership after getting Ayub out on 23 off 18 balls, caught by Khushdil Shah.
Meanwhile, Usman Khan continued to impress with the bat after scoring a blistering 81 runs knock off just 50 balls.
However, Imran Tahir struck again to remove Usman after trapping in an lbw, the rookie batsman tried to play an ill-advised reverse sweep.
Right-hand pacer, Sohail Khan struck in the next over to dismiss the veteran batsman, Faf Du Plessis before he had scored 17 off 17 balls.
The in-form skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed also fell quickly after the Multan pacer, Imran Khan bowled him out to put brakes on the momentum for Quetta.
The destructive Azam Khan 17 (9) played some heavy shots but Shahnawaz Dhani took him in an lbw decision which was reviewed and retained.
The young gun, Dhani struck again to remove the power-hitting batsman, Ben Cutting 10 (7) in an lbw which was originally given not out but Sultans took the review to change the decision.
All-rounder Mohammad Nawaz contributed 20 off 10 for his side before Dhani picked him up at the last ball of the innings, Quetta Gladiators gave the target of 176-7 in 20 overs.
Dhani was the top pick from the bowlers after picking three wickets while Imran Tahir got two dismissals.
“We need to improve in the field. We give at least 10-15 runs away in the field, and that’s a huge amount of runs in T20 cricket,”Rizwan says in a post-match presentation.
“We’re struggling to build partnerships in the middle order, but Qais and Nawaz bowled brilliantly and stifled our momentum. I’m in a bit of pain, and we’re awaiting X-Rays on my foot. Hopefully, it’s all good.”
Multan Sultans Playing XI
Mohammad Rizwan (c, wk), James Vince, Rilee Rossouw, Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Sohaib Maqsood, Carlos Brathwaite, Imran Tahir, Sohail Khan, Shahnawaz Dhani, Imran Khan.
Quetta Gladiators playing XI
Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Faf du Plessis, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK), Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Dale Steyn, Zahid Mehmood, Mohammad Hasnain, Qais Ahmad.